I exercise regularly, stay fit, and eat a healthy diet. My social environment is great with friends and family and I also enjoy life to the fullest! I sleep at least 7 hours per night and also do regular health checkups. Sleep and checkups are very important. All of these contribute to brain health.
Overview of Brain Health
A healthy brain offers cognitive, physical, and emotional benefits. As the center of cognitive functioning, the brain interprets senses, controls behavior, and initiates movements. An unhealthy brain can impact the quality of your life adversely; hence, taking care of it is imperative.
Continue reading to learn how to promote brain health to enhance your overall well-being.
Brain health is the ability of the brain to function optimally across cognitive, social-emotional, sensory, behavioral, and motor domains. A healthy brain supports learning, reasoning, thinking, remembering, attention, language abilities, problem-solving, social cognition, decision-making, and motor functions.
Some common risks to brain health include vascular, degenerative, and immune-mediated diseases, mental health issues, inflammation, brain tissue injuries, malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. Neurological and psychiatric conditions are prevalent in Singapore, and the cases are expected to increase with time. Some of the common conditions include Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.
However, learning how to promote brain health can help minimize most of these risks.
7 Pillars for Optimizing Brain Health
From making lifestyle changes to improving blood flow and engaging in mentally stimulating activities, there are good practices you can adopt to boost your brain health. Below are the seven pillars for optimizing brain health.
Regular exercise is excellent for your brain health. Physical activity can boost thinking, learning, problem-solving, and memory and prevent cognitive decline. In addition, exercise alleviates stress, improving anxiety and depression symptoms.
Recommended weekly physical activity for adults is at least 150 minutes of moderate or 30 minutes daily for five days.
Brain-Healthy Nutrition and Diet
Research shows that diet affects cognitive processes and emotions. A plant-based diet comprising vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fruits, legumes, and seeds is especially good for keeping the brain healthy. But generally, you can add foods such as nuts, turmeric, pumpkin seeds, green leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale), berries, fatty fish, and coffee to your diet.
Cognitive stimulation improves concentration and memory, which boosts brain health. According to research, mental stimulation produces a lasting effect, extending past the initial learning phase. The cognitive benefits of activities such as fluency in a second language or years of education stretch to later in life.
Consider engaging in mentally stimulating activities like gardening, volunteering, playing an instrument, enjoying games and puzzles like Scrabble, and learning a new language to improve your brain functioning.
The calming effect of mindfulness/meditation can relieve stress, and improve mood, memory, thinking, and attentional performance, leading to better brain health. Mindfulness is an effective method of enhancing cognitive function as it changes the brain structures through improved working memory capacity while reducing mind wandering. It’s especially recommended as a technique for protecting an aging brain.
According to studies, poor connections, including infrequent interactions and loneliness, increase the risk of cognitive decline. Social connections, such as interacting/meeting up with a loved one, holding group meetings with people you share interests with, giving a family member or friend a call, or attending a social gathering such as a concert, are excellent for your brain health as they increase brain flexibility and resilience.
Discover more about brain aneurysm advances and care in conversation with our neurointervention specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja. He discusses important breakthroughs of neurological conditions and ways to prevent and look after your brain health.
A past Singapore mental health study found that 27.6% of Singaporeans have poor-quality sleep. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation impacts brain health negatively. A decline in memory skills and concentration, increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and poor mental health are some negative impacts of inadequate sleep.
Having adequate sleep, 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep, enhances brain function as it helps memory consolidation and retention and hormonal secretions, among other physiological processes.
Good Blood Flow Throughout the Body
Optimal blood circulation throughout the body is good for your brain health. Though a small organ, the brain requires lots of energy to coordinate body functions. Smooth blood flow to the brain supplies the essential oxygen and nutrients needed to function optimally.
Impaired blood flow arising from circulation issues around the body, such as blood blockage or clots, can damage the brain, leading to conditions like vascular dementia and stroke. There are certain things you can do to enhance your blood circulation, including controlling your blood pressure and blood sugar, remaining physically active, refraining from smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and adopting a healthy diet.
Examples of foods that promote good blood circulation include cayenne pepper, beets, leafy green vegetables, berries, citrus fruits, ginger, and fatty fish.
We Support Your Brain Health at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic
Optimal brain health is vital for your overall quality of life. Learning how to promote brain health is thus essential to minimize the risk of neurological and psychiatric conditions. Some key pillars of optimizing brain health include exercise, brain-healthy nutrition and diet, cognitive stimulation, mindfulness, social connection, adequate sleep, and good blood flow throughout the body.
If you were looking for ways to improve your brain health, we hope this information has been helpful. Or, in case you need a brain doctor and specialist in Singapore like Dr. Manish Taneja, reach out to us at Supreme Vascular and Intervention Clinic. We handle various brain conditions and treatments and will work closely with you and your loved ones to create a tailored plan. Contact us to arrange your appointment.
Stroke Management and Prevention
The best way to treat a stroke is to prevent stroke. There are well known causes of stroke such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, poor controlled diabetes and smoking. Other risk factors include obesity and unhealthy lifestyle combined with lack of physical activity.
Stroke treatment involves medical management along with control of risk factors to prevent future stroke. Interventional treatments are often required to treat and prevent stroke in patients. One of the most recent and well established interventional treatment for acute stroke since 2015 is to remove clot from the brain causing acute stroke in some of these suitable category of patients.
Stroke screening is best suited for individuals with risk factors for stroke. These include those with known family history and cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption is well recognized as risk factors for stroke.
Stroke screening process involves:
2. Blood tests
3. MRI /CT scan of the brain and its blood vessels.
This non-invasive assessment is followed by appropriate advice/ treatment as required on an individual basis. Stroke screening can also be combined with cardiac and vascular assessment as required since risk factors for these medical conditions overlap.
Read More About Neurointerventional Treatments on Our Blog
To dive deeper into the types of neurointerventional treatments, head over to our clinic’s blog.
Read our recommended neurointerventional treatments related blog posts to stay informed. What is a stroke? Watch our helpful video to learn stroke causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
- Stroke Prevention: Causes and Risk Factors
- Stroke Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment: A Complete Guide
- Types of Stroke: Ischaemic, Haemorrhagic, and TIAS
- Headaches: What It is, Types, Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment
- Brain Aneurysm Q&A with Dr. Manish Taneja
- 10 Brain Aneurysm Questions Answered
- The Ultimate Guide to Brain Aneurysm
- Conversation with Dr. Manish Taneja on Brain Aneurysm Advances and Care
- The Dangers of Brain Aneurysm
- Brain Aneurysm: Best Minimally Invasive Treatments
- Brain AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation)
Stroke Prevention Tips: How to Avoid High Cholesterol
Controllable risk factors are lifestyle choices that can be changed to reduce the risk of having a stroke including managing your cholesterol.
We’ve Got You Covered for Specialized Stroke Screening, Prevention, and Management
Imagine heart attacks where the blood flow to your heart is blocked. Similarly, a stroke occurs when the blood flow to your brain is interrupted becoming a “brain attack”. When blood supply does not reach a certain part, brain cells begin to die. Different types of stroke include ischemic strokes (blockage of blood vessel due to blood clot) or a mini stroke, a TIA (transient ischemic attack), with no permanent damage yet serious. Stroke also occurs when a blood vessel in the brain pops causing bleeding in the brain.
Certain areas of the brain can be affected by stroke and some symptoms of a stroke including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood sugar levels increase the risk of stroke whereas an active lifestyle or controlling high cholesterol reduces the risk. How well do you know stroke? Find tips to prevent and manage stroke, the differences in stroke screening tests, and the newer technology and treatments available. Come in for an easy consultation and further evaluation with our stroke specialist in Singapore at the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic.
Supreme Vascular and Interventional Stroke Programs